The fantasy that we are monsters

I’m back on Prince Edward Island in my reading, reliving The Great War with Lucy Maud Montgomery and Rilla of Ingleside, her fifth book featuring Anne Shirley Cuthbert Blythe of Green Gables, published in 1921. Montgomery wrote two more, prequel tales, but years later, so this will conclude her first 7-8 year burst of creativityContinue reading “The fantasy that we are monsters”

You got to have a dream

People get so angry and sad. Shouldn’t the world be a happy place? Life is too short to waste on anger and sadness and resentment. We rage against the machine and rail against injustice — or we try to leave the machine and the injustice alone to flourish without us, so that the hate andContinue reading “You got to have a dream”

Would you rather be safe or free?

(It’s funny what 22 years can do to something you wrote. This chapter, incorporating two newspaper columns I wrote back in the day, may be the most chilling bit in my book Refuse to be Afraid.) Would you rather be safe or free? It’s been the central question in the United States of America forContinue reading “Would you rather be safe or free?”

Here’s how it will be when the dust settles

Oh, we go through this in cycles, every four years. Such a fuss, such a lather, and in a few months there’ll be the same old realization that “the most important election of our time” produced yet another dose of “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” Oh, there’ll be some cosmetic differences,Continue reading “Here’s how it will be when the dust settles”

Choose how you react

“Choose to have the right attitude, and you choose success,” Scott Alexander wrote the other day. It’s an oft-repeated thought: You can’t control what happens sometimes, but you always can control how you react. Not that it’s easy — what happens can be infuriating or heartbreaking or unintentionally funny, and your first impulse may beContinue reading “Choose how you react”

Emerging From Dystopia, Part 2

(“And some day we’ll remember so much that we’ll build the biggest goddam steamshovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in and cover it up,” Granger said in Fahrenheit 451.) And what else will people remember? That all are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain, unalienableContinue reading “Emerging From Dystopia, Part 2”

That moment you realize you’re being lied to

(I wrote this at this stage of the last presidential campaign. Sadly, I don’t need to change a word.) (with grateful thanks to George Orwell, H.L. Mencken, Dr. Seuss and Joss Whedon) Winston Smith sat in a corner where he was pretty sure the telescreen couldn’t see him, and he wrote in a journal. HeContinue reading “That moment you realize you’re being lied to”